Super typhoon Neoguri targets Japan

Neoguri has strengthened into the first super typhoon of 2014 and poses a serious threat to lives and property in Japan.

Super typhoon Neoguri targets Japan

Neoguri has strengthened into the first super typhoon of 2014 and poses a serious threat to lives and property in Japan.

Neoguri intensified into a super typhoon early Monday morning local time (Sunday afternoon EDT). Currently Neoguri remains a super typhoon with maximum sustained winds of 240 kph (150 mph).

The super typhoon will continue to pass through an area of very warm water and low wind shear (strong winds above the surface that can shred tropical systems apart) over the next 24 hours which will keep the cyclone dangerously strong despite any interaction with dry air which may cause some weakening.

Residents and visitors in the path of this intensifying and dangerous super typhoon should already be taking the necessary preparations and heed all evacuation orders.

AccuWeather.com meteorologists expect Neoguri to still be a super typhoon when it crosses the gap between the Ryukyu Islands of Miyako Jima and Okinawa on Tuesday, local time.

Neoguri is expected to track 75-100 miles west of Okinawa. Okinawa will likely get the worst impact from the cyclone late Monday night through Tuesday with rainfall rates of 50 mm (2 inches) or greater per hour at times, sustained winds as high as 160 kph (100 mph) with gusts up to 210 kph (130 mph).

Westernmost parts of Okinawa, home to the United States’ Kadena Air Force Base, will be at greatest risk for the strongest and most devastating winds.

A large storm surge is expected over the southern Ryukyu Islands with some locations near the center of the storm seeing a threat for storm surge in excess of 6 m (20 feet).

The life-threatening and devastating impacts will gradually taper off across Okinawa on Tuesday night. Meanwhile, worsening conditions are expected across the northern Ryukyu Islands and southern Kyushu on Wednesday as the cyclone approaches.

After leaving Okinawa, Neoguri will continue northward before making a sharp turn toward southern Japan with landfall on Kyushu Island anticipated for Wednesday night.

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While no longer a super typhoon, Neoguri is still expected to be a powerful typhoon when it reaches Kyushu. Land interaction will then cause Neoguri to weaken rapidly as it crosses Japan, but that does not mean that residents should let their guard down.

Making matters worse, parts of Kyushu received more than 150 mm (6 inches) of rain on Monday as a fast-moving area of low pressure passed through the area. This will also lead to a higher threat for flooding and mudslides.

The worst of the storm surge will target western and southern parts of Kyushu, but all coastal communities along the southern and eastern coast of mainland Japan will experience an increase in water levels and extremely rough surf.

Despite Neoguri weakening, heavy rain will bring concerns for major flooding across parts of Honshu. Mountainous locations will be most susceptible to the highest rain totals and mudslide threat.

Flooding may also develop across the island of Hokkaido, even if the center of Neoguri stays well to the south. The interaction of moisture from Neoguri and a cold front will lead to torrential rain Thursday night through Friday.

“By the time all is said and done, localized rainfall amounts in excess of 380 mm (15 inches) will slam parts of Japan with the most likely locations being the Ryukyu Islands, Kyushu, Shikoku, eastern Honshu and Hokkaido,” stated AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Evan Duffey.

“Wind damage will be widespread, especially over the Ryukyu Islands and Kyushu. Port cities and low-lying areas will be inundated by storm surge.”

Tokyo is expected to escape the worst of Neoguri but will still be soaked by some rain later in the week. Coastal suburbs should brace for rough surf and coastal flooding.

South Korea should also narrowly miss the brunt of Neoguri. However, the outermost rain bands of the typhoon should still graze and drench the southern coast at midweek with pounding surf also developing.

“The island of Jeju in the Korea Strait will likely see the worst impacts for South Korea. With the storm just off to the south, the island will certainly see strong winds, along with very rough surf and heavy rain,” added Duffey.

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